There is no gender exclusion or cultural affiliations happening here – sunglasses are open to all. This is a prop that appears in (nearly) every online dater profile.

Sunglasses have a transformative power. What started as a reading aid, turned into a coveted fashion statement, reflective of time periods and well-known characters throughout history. Imagine icons John Lennon or Elton John without their signature shades. Similarly, when someone says the word Ray-Bans, no further explanation is needed. Sunglasses become personal signifiers. Perhaps the ones you covet are the classic aviator, commissioned by the US Army during WWII, or the bug-eyed, face-shielding frames that extend well above your brow line, very Iris Apfel if you will. Choices are endless. Expression is endless.

When analysing the use of sunglasses in online dating, we can dig into this a bit deeper, extending beyond their use of personal expression. Sunglasses make the wearer appear more attractive, mysterious, desired – probably all the characteristics you’d like to impose on potential matches. This is a prop that can increase the chance of a right swipe. But there are inevitably some questions that arise. Sunglasses obstruct. They block a clear and accurate depiction of the wearer. Not exactly ideal in an online dating scenario, right? Although, if the wearer is trying to hide and obstruct intentionally, then this is a clever ruse. Perhaps dark under-eye circles after an all-night bender? Lack of make-up? An aspect of their face they are self-conscious with?
I’ll let you be the judge of that.